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Perfect Pound Cake

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Elegant and simple, this pound cake is the little black dress of dessert.

Partially-sliced Pound Cake on a plate.

Pound cake is like the little black dress of dessert. It simple yet elegant, you can dress it up or down, and it’s wonderful anytime, anywhere. My all-time favorite recipe comes from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. While most traditional pound cake recipes call for equal weights of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, Rose’s recipe incorporates milk, lots of extra butter, and a little baking powder. The result is a rich yet fluffy pound cake that melts in your mouth. Rose writes: “This cake not only has a silky-smooth dissolving texture similar to famous Sara Lee pound cake but also the incomparable moist, butter flavor of a home-baked cake. It’s excellent keeping qualities make it ideal for slicing ahead and bringing on picnics.”

What you’ll need to make pound cake

Pound cake ingredients including cake flour, vanilla, and butter.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, a few words about the method. Pound cake is a “high-ratio” cake, which means that the weight of the sugar equals or exceeds the weight of the flour.

Why does this matter? Instead of the more common “creaming” method (where the butter and sugar are beaten together before the eggs, flour, and liquid are added), high-ratio cakes can be made using the “high-ratio” or “quick-mix” method. This involves mixing all the dry ingredients with the butter and some of the liquid first, then adding the remaining liquid ingredients. This method is not only faster and easier than the traditional creaming method, but it also yields incredibly tender and fine-textured cakes. (Other high-ratio cakes on the site include: marble cake, Kentucky butter cake, and yellow cake.)

Milk, egg, and vanilla in a bowl.

To begin, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork until just combined and set aside.

Fork in a bowl of egg mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Unmixed dry ingredients in a stand mixer.

Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.

Dry ingredients in a stand mixer.

Add the butter and half of the egg mixture.

Butter, egg mixture, and dry ingredients in a stand mixer.

Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Butter mixture in a stand mixer.

Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute.

Butter mixture in a stand mixer.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine.

Stand mixer with an egg and butter mixture.

Be sure not to over-mix, or you’ll incorporate too much air into the batter and your pound cake won’t dome as nicely.

Cake batter in a stand mixer.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Pan of pound cake batter.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Pound cake in a loaf pan.

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Pound cake on a wire rack.

Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap or store in a large sealable plastic bag. The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months. Enjoy!

Partially-sliced Pound Cake on a plate.

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Perfect Pound Cake

Elegant and simple, this pound cake is the little black dress of dessert.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk (skim, low fat, or whole)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups cake flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled with a straight edge
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (no need to cut it in pieces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly grease an 8-in x 4-in x 2½-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess. (Alternatively, use a nonstick cooking spray with flour in it, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking Spray with Flour.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine. Do not over-mix. (The batter may have a slightly curdled or grainy appearance -- that's okay.)
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap or store in a large sealable plastic bag.
  6. The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 339
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 139 mg
  • Cholesterol: 120 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Delicious! I made little bunny cakelets using a cast aluminum pan for Easter dessert. They could not have been any cuter, and the pound cake recipe did not need any frosting or glaze. Maybe some strawberries, but altogether very easy. Thanks.

    • — Andrea on March 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi jenn, I want to make this pound cake for my mom but I don’t have the loaf pan
    I wanted to know if this pound cake can be made in Bundt pan if so what would be the temperature and time for It to bake.

    • — Delia on March 5, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Delia, I don’t recommend making this recipe in a Bundt pan – sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • I loved this pound cake! It came out light and fluffy, my family devoured it quickly. It’s a very simple and easy to follow recipe that will go into my frequently made recipe file.

    • — Sheila on February 15, 2024
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  • Sadly, this didn’t work for me. As other reviewers have commented , the pound cake didn’t rise, and the butter leaked out of it during baking, making a greasy mess. I measured all the ingredients carefully, everything was room temperature, and the baking powder was fresh. I followed the recipe as written. The batter looked the same as the photos. I’m not a novice baker, but this is the first time I’ve tried the reverse creaming method. I don’t know what could’ve gone wrong. I’m so disappointed with the wasted ingredients.

    • — Karla on January 7, 2024
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  • Very successful, very easy.

    • — Hennie Childs on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • My cake did not rise, only about an inch high. I am not one to give up, any advice?

    • — Linda on September 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, I’m sorry you had a problem with the cake rising! Did you use an 8-in x 4-inch loaf pan? Was your baking powder really old or expired? Did you make any adjustments to the recipe/ingredients?

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2023
      • Reply
      • Oops! Going to buy new baking powder and try it again. Thanks so much for your timely response.

        • — Linda on September 7, 2023
        • Reply
  • I have seen this recipe or similar prepared for me by a very skilled Frenchman. I have tried with no success to duplicate his lemon bread cake and missed it very much. I am glad this popped up as I used coconut and added lemon rind and matched the batter texture to yours And found it quite similar without an electric mixer, beating everything by hand, but only using two eggs. It’s in the oven. I will try to snap a photo.

    • — Richard Haffar on September 2, 2023
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  • Recipe is absolutely incredible, love it, love it.

    • — Zane on August 13, 2023
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  • This recipe is a favorite. Tastes great with strawberries. It’s really easy to make. Thank you. Your muffin recipes are great too!

    • — Lynn on July 22, 2023
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  • I really wanted to like this recipe but it just didn’t turn out well for me. I followed the recipe exactly as written, except I used a slightly larger loaf pan and adjusted the bake time to account for the larger pan. The cake was baked through but was extremely dense, more than what you’d expect from a pound cake. It did not rise in the slightest. The recipe seems to use an extravagant amount of butter compared to the amount of cake flour used because the only thing you can taste is the butter. I appreciate a nice butteriness to a cake but this is definitely not it.

    • — Christina on June 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! I was wondering if it’s also possible to make this as cupcakes in a 12- cup muffin pan?

    • — May on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi May, I haven’t tried it, but I think it should work. Please LMK how they come out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this pound cake earlier today. I added a little lemon zest to the milk and egg mixture. Directions are perfect. I’m on my second slice. Simply delicious. Grateful for the photos and great directions.

    • — jg on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very eggy texture of cake. Did not turn out well at all.

    • — Js on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Nice and quick method

    • — Sussie on May 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this pound cake for the 1st time and it was absolutely delicious!
    My grandchildren loved it; there was not a morsel left! Now I have to bake another one!

    • — Robin D on May 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Recipe was awesome! Added 2 tbl lemon (mother-in-law is a lemon fiend). Served it with a blueberry and raspberry sauce. Father-in-law (who doesn’t like sweets) looked at and said I could eat that whole thing! Said it was the best pound cake he’s ever had.. great one!

    • — Linda p on April 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is the greasiest cake I’ve ever had. I literally had to drain butter out of it when it was done. Even after it cooled, it still feels and tastes like it was just dipped in melted butter. What a waste of good ingredients.

    • — Kinkalo on March 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is literally the perfect pound cake. The cake flour makes it light and fluffy. Simply delicious.

    • — liane on March 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, this cake looks awesome. You recommend 8x4x2.5 inch loaf pan–would you please share what brand of pan this is? Having difficulty finding that size. Thank you.

    • — Rebecca on March 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, the brand is Chicago Metallic. Hope you enjoy the pound cake! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 7, 2023
      • Reply
  • Was thinking of using this to make a Christmas trifle… would this work? If so, would it make two 8” round cakes? Thanks!

    • — Meg on December 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Meg, yes, this would work in a trifle, but I’d use the loaf pan as with that shape, you’ll have an easier time cutting the pound cake into symmetrical pieces. I’d love to hear how it works out!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was so delicious 🤤 thank you so much for sharing this recipe

    • — Elizabeth on November 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • How would I use this for a nine inch Bundt pan by doubling the ingredients

      • — Donald on April 19, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Donald, you could double the recipe and use a 9-inch bundt pan. The bake time may be different so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on April 19, 2023
        • Reply
  • It must be me. Second time making this pound cake and again, it’s dry. It doesn’t rise very much for me either (baking powder is fairly new). I used 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 t. almond extract. Taste is good, but pretty dry.

    • — Anne Hastings on November 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, I’m sorry this has been dry for you! Dryness is usually caused by measuring the flour incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2022
      • Reply
      • Mine came out small too! It didn’t rise very much. But delicious! Not dry – scrumptious. I looked over the recipe and the only thing was I didn’t use the cake flour. I used regular rising flour but i sifted it! Was i supposed to sift?

        • — Gloria on December 25, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Gloria, The sifting wouldn’t make a difference but using all-purpose flour would’ve impacted the cake. Also, did you use an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan?

          • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
          • Reply
    • This pound cake was a joke!
      Everything was done as it says in the recipe but the worst pound cake l’ve ever baked. It doesn’t rise at all, too much greasy. No, no, I won’t waste my butter next time or my precious time for this joke.

      • — Sils on November 30, 2022
      • Reply
      • I had the same issues. I have liked the chef’s recipes, but this one was a “clinker”. Have made much better pound cakes than this one!

        • — Claudia on March 4, 2023
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I was planning on making this today and send to my sister (in Chicago), I’m in New Jersey. When I was reading through the comments you said: “Also, did you serve them on the same day? Like most homemade cakes, they don’t stay fresh for long.” It usually takes 2 days to reach her by Priority Mail. Do you think this is the wrong type of pound cake to send her? Thanks, Ally 🙂

    • — Ally O'Connor on September 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • It should be okay but she should eat it quickly once it arrives! She can also refrigerate it, which will extend the time she can enjoy it to a week (from the time it was baked).

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn, I appreciate it.

        • — Ally on September 27, 2022
        • Reply
  • I’ll try again, but mine is dry. I think I baked it too long. 🙁 Next time I may add some almond extract along with the vanilla.

    • — Anne Hastings on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello,
    I made this cake before and it was wonderful. I was checking to see if I can use pastry flour to make this pound cake?
    Thank you

    • — Ellen on September 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you’ve enjoyed it. Yes, pastry flour would work here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can this be made in like cake pans ? Don’t have a loaf pan 🙁

    • — Dulce on August 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! I have some heavy whipping cream in the fridge and wanted your advice on replacing the milk with this. Will it impact the texture, etc.?
    Thank you!

    • — Jennifer on August 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, replacing the milk with heavy whipping cream should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Good but didn’t take 55min to cook it took 40mins

    • — Daryl Fitzgibbon on July 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • The best pound cake. Making two more today. I use your recipes all the time and the compliments keep coming. Always say “Once Upon a Chef”never fails to please the palate. Thank you.

    • — Mary on July 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Useless recipe, awful website, too many ads, pop ups, and nobody needs your autobiography. Recipe came out flat, pale and dry.

    • — This is shit on July 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • You are so vulgar

      • — Eugenia on July 8, 2022
      • Reply
    • What an awful name. You were very insulting. You could have used better words.

      • — Angela on September 26, 2022
      • Reply
    • I’m glad Jenn left this comment up. These kind of comments always make me laugh and yet at the same time make me feel sorry for the poster.

      • — This is Shit's Biggest Fan on May 12, 2023
      • Reply
      • Made this last night after posting my previous comment. Not sure why some others said it was either too greasy or too dry. I recommend getting a scale and weighing your dry ingredients. I flipped recipe to metric and weighed the flour and sugar. This is a classic tasting pound cake. Served with in-season macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Delicious!

        • — Katie (aka This is Shit's Biggest Fan) on May 13, 2023
        • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe a few times (double in a big loaf) and it turns out great every time 😔

    • — Lidia on July 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • How did u double? can you help please?

      • — Donald on April 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • Want to try this recipe but can’t find the ingredients list, how silly is that? Too busy with all the hype and no list of ingredients! The ingredients list is more important than all the hype! After all that is what I was searching for!! Should not have to hunt ithe list down, waste of my time!! Ridiculousness!!

    • — Vicki on July 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Vicki, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2022
      • Reply
    • Followed recipe, didn’t make as much cake as I thought, cake came out dry but the center is good, I’d recommend using an extra teaspoon of vanilla and an extra tablespoon of milk and if you’re wanting to make 2 cakes quadruple the recipe

      • — Tyler on December 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this with AP flour and it was still very moist. I bet cake flour would be even better, but everyone raved it was excellent. My 9-yr-old even said, any recipe from Jenn Segal is amazing. He knows that’s my go to (we have your book) and the blog of course. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tried and true recipes.

    • — Kay on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Turned out wonderfully and has a light spice taste.

    • — Gary S on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn is blessed! Everything I bake using her recipes turns out perfect…..everything……everytime……intend to get her books…..
    She deserves the support.

    • — Nicole on May 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on May 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can I make a lamb mold with this recipe? If so temperature. Same? Any other Tips? Thank you!
    Kathy c.

    • — Kathy Czarnecki on April 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I think I’m weighing in too late to help but I wouldn’t recommend it as I’m concerned that it would stick to the pan — sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made a double batch of this recipe and it turned out great, reduced the sugar to 2 1/4c and baked for 40 mins.

    • — Nisha on April 10, 2022
    • Reply

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